Why Notepad for Windows 10 Should Become a Modern App

Believe it or not, but Notepad continues to be one of the most popular Windows apps, even if there are so many alternatives with substantially more advanced capabilities.

But Notepad is here to stay, there’s no doubt about it, and a confirmation of how much Windows users love Notepad came from none other than Microsoft, who in the latest OS feature updates implemented several new features for the app.

Back in August, Microsoft announced an idea that was received with mixed reactions by users out there: Notepad would be moved to the Microsoft Store in future releases. The company explained the following:

“Notepad has been a well-loved text editor in Windows for over 30 years. Over the last few releases, we’ve been making a number of small improvements to Notepad based on your feedback (including expanded line ending support, wrap around search, and indicating when there’s unsaved content.) Starting with this build, we’re making a change so that future Notepad updates will be automatically available via the store. This will allow us the flexibility to respond to issues and feedback outside the bounds of Windows releases. As always, if you have any feedback for Notepad, we welcome it in the Feedback Hub under Apps > Notepad.”

This week, however, the software giant decided to abandon this idea, sticking with the existing Notepad approach that doesn’t include a Microsoft Store listing and which relies on Windows Update for update delivery.

While Microsoft hasn’t discussed the reasons for this decision, Notepad should stay in the Microsoft Store moving forward. And there are two reasons for this, both of them related to what a modern app brings new to the Windows platform.

First of all, it’s the update system that the Microsoft Store powers for modern apps.

Microsoft Store apps can be serviced just like any other regular app. Updates are downloaded and installed automatically, if this option is enabled, and Microsoft does not need to rely on Windows Update to release new features and further refinements.

Right now, both Microsoft and users need to wait for Windows 10 feature updates to roll out new features for Notepad. Given Windows 10 feature updates are released twice a year, it goes without saying this means Notepad would receive improvements at a rather slow pace, something that many users might not agree with.

A similar approach was planned for the original Microsoft Edge too. Because it was bundled into the OS, Edge only received updates though Windows Update, so Microsoft once intended to move it to the Store for more frequent improvements. The idea was eventually abandoned for a reason that nobody knows.

And second of all, it’s the pack of benefits that modern apps power on Windows 10.

While more substantial improvements would be required for Notepad, migrating towards the concept of modern apps would allow it to benefit from additional functionality like live tiles and further optimizations that wouldn’t otherwise be available outside the store. It could also be optimized for touch, something that would technically expand Notepad beyond the desktop.

But at the same time, there’s the other side of the story.

Not everyone uses the Microsoft Store in Windows 10, and this is mostly the case for users who upgraded from Windows 7. Because they want to stick with the classic Windows approach, they never launch the store, which means they would also miss out on all the Notepad improvements that Microsoft releases. On the other hand, if the company sticks with the Windows Update model, Notepad updates end up being installed on all devices anyway.

At the end of the day, the good news is that Notepad would continue receiving more and more improvements in some way or another, and as a big fan of this app, I have every reason to be happy about it.

Are you still using Notepad? Should it be moved to the Microsoft Store?

Let us know what you think in the box below.

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